Walter Reed closing, sort of

Roamy here.  When I first read about Walter Reed Army Medical Center closing at Ace of Spades, my first reaction was, “Huh?  Don’t we need that?”  It’s being combined with Bethesda Naval Hospital to form the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.  The new Walter Reed will combine care for all servicemembers with medical personnel from the Army, Navy, and Air Force.  The plan for this move was approved back in 2005 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) proposal, which also includes expanding DeWitt Army Community Hospital at Fort Belvoir.  I hope a newer facility will provide better care for our soldiers than a 102-year-old facility that’s seen its share of scandal.

More details of the move and the specs on the facilities here.

The casing of the colors for the old Walter Reed will take place on Wednesday.  They will be moving patients and personnel throughout August, with the doors scheduled to shut for good September 15.

6 thoughts on “Walter Reed closing, sort of”

  1. While the big issue here is in regards to how medical support is transferred and maintained as Walter Reed closes. But I must also point out that Walter Reed is more than just a facility. Although the facility was built after the Civil War, the ground was a battlefield in the war. In July 1864 Confederates fought from what is today Walter Reed in a failed raid on Washington, D.C. It was the only time in the war that major combat occurred within the nation’s capital. It was also the one of a few times that a sitting US President came under fire in combat, when Lincoln observed the fighting from nearby Fort Stevens. According to oft repeated stories, a Confederate sharpshooter in a tree within the Walter Reed grounds fired upon Lincoln.

    Nearby Battleground National Cemetery contains the remains of many Union troops who fought in the battle.

  2. I don’t think DeWitt ACH was there back then, but I was a frequent visitor to the ER on Ft. Belvoir when we lived in Alexandria back in the early 70s.

  3. Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Wilford Hall Military Medical ER Trauma 1 care are both being closed and joined with other Military Medical Centers. Walter Reed will join Bethesda and Wilford Hall, from Lackland AFB, will join Brooke Army Medical Center. Brooke and Wilford Hall are parts of the Southwest Military Medical System. Wilford Hall will be an urgent care facility. During ‘Nam, if you were in the Military, and badly burned there was only one place to go, Brooke Army Medical Center at Ft. Sam Houston.

    1. There used to be another AF med facility on the south side of San Antonio, Brooks AFB as I recall. It was basically a med center. It was where Victor Belenko, the MiG 25 pilot that defected in 75 or 76 by flying his 25 to Japan, had some major dental work done. When I lived over near Lackland (69-71), where my father was stationed, Brooks had the only decompression chamber in all of Texas.

      A guy I used to work with had been a surgical medic at Wilford in the mid 70s. They used to be the only hospital in that part of SA and they saw a lot of gun shot emergency cases (he said wounds with .22 Long Rifle tended to be lethal as they get inside the rib cage and bounce around just shredding the contents). I’m guessing there will be a dispensary on Lackland as that’s where they do Basic for the AF. My father was tempted to take retirement there as he was of the very common opinion that “if Lackland closes then the AF is closing.”

      My next younger brother and I spent a lot of time running around Lackland when we were there. Got a tour of the OTS, which was at the Lackland annex (was still shown as Medina AFB on a lot of maps) while we were there.

  4. Being attached to BAMC, as it were, this realignment has been nothing but a headache. The new SAMMC, as it will be called, is already a hotbed of politics and power wrangling.

    I hope that doesn’t come to pass at Bethesda.

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